We’ve been talking about misplaced anger since the midterm and while I don’t want to beat dead horse, I believe that Walking with Shadows adds a new element, which I will call misplaced blame, to this recurring theme. In the novel there are several examples of misplaced anger, most often directed towards Adrian. However, there are also examples of misplaced blame placed on Adrian’s friends and family by their own doing. To simplify, there are members of Adrian’s family who direct blame upon themselves. It is not that this anger or blame should be directed towards someone else, it is that it shouldn’t be directed at anyone.
I’ll use one vivid example in which this misplaced blame occurred in an effort to illustrate my point. It occurred when Adrian’s mother confronted him, saying “ ‘What did we do wrong with you?’ She said more to herself. “We tried to harden you when we noticed you were weak…We did everything to make you normal”(197). Dibia makes it clear that this is an instance of misplaced blame by Adrian’s mom with the words “She said more to hersef.” Adrian’s mother should not be blaming herself nor anyone, as Adrian’s sexuality is no one’s fault nor is it something that one should feel guilt for.
However, based on the selections we’ve read in Walking with Shadows, it is evident that Adrian’s family is searching for answers and with that comes this irrational misplaced blame. But until Nigerian society, and specifically Adrian’s family, ceases to view homosexuality as something that needs explanation, this misplaced blame will continue. Additionally, I think this is a broader issue that we see within families who have a gay family member, worldwide. I feel like I see instances in which parents ask themselves “where they went wrong” in popular culture, as well as in real life.
So I was curious if anyone can think of any other examples of misplaced blame? Or maybe you have even noticed another element of misplaced anger within the novel?